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Lee-Collier-Charlotte
Business Observer Thursday, Jun. 10, 2021 4 months ago

Former area mortgage broker charged in $1 million scam

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Thomas Errico was arrested June 10.

FORT MYERS — Former Lee County mortgage broker Thomas Errico has been charged with fraud for his role in a mortgage loan modification and investment scam that authorities say exceeded $1 million nationwide.

Errico was arrested June 10 on a charge of communications fraud, according to a statement from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office assisted the OFR with the investigation, the release states, and the Fort Myers Police Department is credited with the arrest.

Authorities allege Errico told his victims he could “find fraud” in their mortgage loans, which would enable him to demand loan modifications or cancellation of the loans from the lending institutions. He also allegedly promised his victims that if he couldn’t uncover fraud in the mortgage loan documents, he would refund any fees, the release states.

“However, based on the OFR’s investigation, it is alleged Errico did not obtain any mortgage loan modifications nor did he issue any refunds to his victims,” the release states. “The investigation also revealed that neither Errico, nor the companies he allegedly operated through, were licensed to negotiate the terms of mortgage loans.”

An alleged co-conspirator in the scheme, Carlo Hamrahi, aka Roberto Colleoni, was arrested in California and extradited to Florida in 2020 on a warrant issued out of Lee County. Hamrahi was charged with one count of being involved in an organized scheme to defraud. In a statement announcing that arrest, officials said the investigation uncovered “massive mortgage fraud targeting dozens of seniors.”

With regard to Errico, authorities also allege in another fraudulent scheme he promised he would double the victim’s investment in six months by purchasing land or condominiums at below-market prices and selling them quickly for a profit. He also purportedly sold another victim a high-yield promissory note, officials contend, claiming the returns would be paid from the closing of a real estate deal within six months. “The investigation revealed that none of these representations were true, and that Errico allegedly used the victims’ investments to pay personal expenses,” the release states.

“Proud of my Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Office of Financial Regulation for their work in bringing this criminal to justice,” Attorney General Ashley Moody says in the statement. “I will continue to fight for Floridians and use every resource available to protect our citizens from fraudsters seeking to manipulate and deceive others.”

 

 

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